In 1989, Sybilla, Dani, Polly, Zeb, and Michael, known collectively as the band Matrimony, found themselves in Sydney Australia's Fatboy Studios, making the opus that is Kitty Finger.
Fifteen songs tumbled out, “lo-fi punchy pop songs with a punk ethos,” in Polly’s description, mostly written by Sybilla and Zeb, with Polly contributing some lyrics as well. There are songs skewering the artifice of fame (“Elvis Superstar,” “Mister Popstar”), and poking fun at the stoicism of cowboy life (“Lonesome Cowboy”). Songs of desire and anticipation in “Two Storey Man,” where Sybilla ponders, “I’m in love with a two storey man/Wonder if he’s ever coming down?” Songs of lust (“Prick”) and songs begging for love to not fade away (“Come Back Baby”). Songs ranging from the goofy charms of “Fish and Chips Sweetheart” to the poetic beauty of “Bleached”: “Baby you said it would be summer if I dyed my hair blonde/And I didn’t and it was winter all the year long.” “I love that Polly and Sybilla were able to express themselves so freely and confidently,” says Zeb “Their lyrics are so weird and sometimes silly and so great. I’m still thinking about what some of them mean!”
All the songs were original, save for a reworking of the Scientists’ “Frantic Romantic,” which Matrimony transformed into something dreamier and more languid. Sybilla came up with the album’s title, finding the phrase “kitty finger”, taken from a book about exercising. The bold cover shot was equally inspired, with Sybilla doing the honors in a $2 photo booth.
Its influence has never really gone away. “Over the years many fans have referred to Kitty Finger as a legendary album,” says Polly. “I appreciate their enthusiasm. Kitty Finger represents the energy, ambition, teenage sexuality, and slacker attitude of one’s late teenage years on the periphery of becoming an adult. The songs, music, and band worked because ultimately it was about kids creating music, being aspirational, and having fun. Rock ‘n’ roll starts with rebellion and youth culture.” Matrimony’s legacy lives on in their message to aspiring musicians everywhere; that, in Zeb’s words, “you didn’t have to be able to play really well or record expensively to be totally awesome, you just needed to really mean it. And Matrimony really meant it.”
Now the word is being spread again, with Kitty Finger newly remastered and available on vinyl, CD, and digital streaming platforms. It's available for pre-order and pre-saves now - out everywhere 12/17.